Get the lowdown on tonight's Checkatrade Trophy opponents, as Southampton's youngsters look for back-to-back wins in the competition against Cambridge United…
Cambridge United vs Southampton
Tuesday 9th October, 7:00pm BST
For Saints, Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy trip to Cambridge United represents an opportunity to build on their return to winning ways against Leeds in the PL Cup on Friday.
This is the fifth front on which Radhi Jaïdi’s side are battling this season and they go into the tie at the Abbey Stadium knowing that a second victory to follow up the 2-0 success over Colchester United in September will secure their place in the next round of the competition.
For Cambridge, it could be a welcome distraction. The U’s have endured a disastrous start in League Two where they sit second from bottom with eight points to their name from a possible 36.
Defeat to Crawley at the weekend was coach Joe Dunne’s tenth in 14 matches, a run including a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Southend United in their Checkatrade opener.
A full-strength side is expected to welcome Jaïdi’s young side on Tuesday night with a positive result a must for Dunne’s team.
An Alfie Jones header separated these two at the same stage of the competition last season.
FLASHBACK: Cambridge 0-1 Saints
Crawley 2-0 Cambridge
Cambridge 1-3 Forest Green Rovers (Brown)
Newport 4-2 Cambridge (Lambe 2)
Cambridge 1-1 Mansfield (Maris)
Colchester 3-0 Cambridge
Saints 2-0 Leeds (Obafemi, Slattery) PL Cup
Reading 2-0 Saints
Saints 1-1 Porto (Barnes) PL International Cup
Saints 0-1 Villa
Newcastle 0-1 Saints (Obafemi)
WHO TO WATCH
Last season’s topscorer Uche Ikpeazu joined Hearts over the summer, taking away a significant slice of Cambridge’s attacking threat and the U’s have struggled in front of goal so far this term.
Attempting the fill void have been midfielders Reggie Lambe and George Maris. The latter – a £45k signing from Barnsley - reached double figures for the 2017/18 season and has two strikes to his name this time around.
New arrival Lambe – a Bermudian international with playing experience at Toronto FC, Nykopings BIS of Sweden, Mansfield Town and Carlisle – has found the net three times this season including a brace in Cambridge’s 4-2 defeat to Newport County at the end of last month.
U’s boss Dunne has called on his team to reverse their poor run of form and turn performances that have warranted more into points on the board in recent weeks.
“Performances have not warranted where we are,” he said following Saturday’s encounter with Crawley. “We should be higher up the league it just hasn’t clicked in terms of consistent wins and results, based on our play.
“Pressure is something I’ve learned to deal with over many, many years in football and I’m desperately disappointed about the results. I understand the game, I understand it’s a result business.”